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Returning roots in flower bed

Posted by rtharmon northwest PA (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 2, 11 at 10:32

I have a flower bed near my house that keeps getting over run with roots. To build the flower bed I dug out the existing soil about 8 inches down as the area seemed to have a lot of weeds and rocks. I then filled with garden soil, peat moss, & some compost. The first year was fine. The next year when I went to re-plant some annuals I found a bunch of roots growing about an inch under the surface. I pulled out as much as I could and re-added soil. Each year they get thicker. I have tried adding mulch on top but they just grow right thru it. They never break surface and develop into any type of plant. The roots seem to be choking out anything I try to plant. The area is edged with landscaping timber to make it easier to mow. The closest tree is 8 - 9 ft from the bed. Not exactly sure what it is. I have never added chemicals to try to eradicate the roots because I did not want to hurt my plants. Any ideas of what these are and how to get rid of?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Returning roots in flower bed

More than likely they're tree roots. If so, you'll have to continue removing them unless you install a sturdy barrier at least 18 inches wide.

RE: Returning roots in flower bed

what type of tree is 8 feet away?

RE: Returning roots in flower bed

Thanks for the info. Just seems odd. I have never had flower beds get overrun before like this one. I am not certain of the tree. Something in the locust family maybe.

RE: Returning roots in flower bed

Tree roots can be a pain in the butt. Lots of plants are adapted to growing among tree roots, if they didn't there wouldn't be any vegetation under trees in the woods.

I've had good luck growing ginger, jacob's ladder, hypatica, and ferns in flower beds that are full of tree roots.

RE: Returning roots in flower bed

We have roots from a Siberian(?) elm 30 feet from the treeline.

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